Checking in at OPUS Bar and La Pentola

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OPUS BAR/Facebook https://www.facebook.com/opusbarvancouver/photos/pb.752926128095293.-2207520000.1450809347./843281772393061/?type=3&theater

There are plenty of places in Yaletown for grabbing a drink, but there are few true bars. Tucked inside the boutique OPUS Hotel is OPUS Bar, offering locals and out-of-towners alike an all-day and into the night option for drinks and lounging. As a delicious bonus, right next door is La Pentola, a warm and welcoming restaurant showcasing Northern Italian fare with a menu of seasonal eats and playful signature items.

OPUS Bar happens to be one of Vancouver’s best hotel bars, thanks to its evolving daily vibe and tight cocktail program. During the day, it’s a great place for a cup of coffee, a sip of the ol’ hair of the dog, and to get some work done or have a meeting. From 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., OPUS bar serves up drinks and treats from Matchstick Coffee Roasters, Cartems Donuterie, The Juice Truck, Erin Ireland’s To Die For Banana Bread, and Cadeaux Bakery.

Photo courtesy Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

SEE ALSO: Best hotel bars in Vancouver

From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., OPUS Bar patrons can also nosh on snacks prepared by La Pentola, and in a most excellent and friendly twist on Happy Hour, the bar offers complimentary flatbreads in daily rotating flavour combos, from 3 to 6 p.m. (which is why we’ve long felt this was one of Vancouver’s best budget-conscious HH options).

As the sun goes down, the OPUS Bar shifts into true bar mode, and beckons guests with not only their smart riffs on classic drinks but also their live music programming.

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

During the holiday season, OPUS Bar has fun drinks like The Variation, a spin on The Aviation cocktail, which is made with Tanqueray, maraschino, Crème Yvette, pressed lemon and lavender. For those who prefer a little zing in their holiday spirits, they’re serving up the Little Chile, a play on the classic Pisco Sour, made at OPUS with pisco, Campari, fresh citrus, egg white and orange blossom water.

Diners can head into La Pentola for an inviting but chic Italian meal, too. The restaurant recently welcomed Daniel Burke (Bao Bei Brasserie, Chill Winston) as their new General Manager, and Burke is excited to be on board.

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SEE ALSO: La Pentola's Family Supper Series spotlights flavours of Northern Italy

Burke is a gracious presence, and is pleased welcome guests to enjoy Chef Travis McCord’s food. Fresh pasta dishes, comforting mains, bright salads, and delightful desserts showcase the ingredients of the season, as well as classic Italian flavours with modern touches. Kick things off with the cheery Butternut Squash Salad, which features housemade whipped ricotta and nutty, tangy chunks of squash tossed with pickled red onions, frisee, pumpkin seeds, and an aged balsamic. Pastas include a Linguine Vongole boasting beautiful fresh B.C. clams in a zippy sauce, or a hearty Spaghetti Bolognese.

For a sweet touch, we’re big fans of La Pentola’s innovative riff on the campfire comfort food S’mores, only here it’s rich chocolate fondant on pine nut and graham cracker crumble with rosemary sorbet and house-made nutmeg marshmallow, torched for that perfect smoky flavour.

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz

Diners who prefer to eat in the “famiglia” style can request a five- or seven-course menu for sharing with the whole table; this bespoke dining option is a rare find in the city, and a great way to mark a special evening out and sample Chef McCord’s cuisine. The restaurant also holds Sunday Suppers monthly; check their site and social media for menus and schedules.

Additionally, La Pentola is known for their fantastic wine menu, so whether you are nibbling on bites over at OPUS Bar or sitting down to a full on meal at the restaurant, there are plentiful options for uncorking and pairing. But quite possibly the best part about La Pentola being a part of the OPUS Hotel is that they are open for lunch and brunch, giving locals lots of chances to check in for a meal and some drinks.

OPUS Bar

Address: 322 Davie Street
Phone: 1-866-642-6787
Twitter: @OPUSbar

La Pentola

Address: 350 Davie Street
Phone: 604-642-0557
Twitter: @La_Pentola

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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